Cattle Rustling

Traditionally, cattle rustling (theft) is the main crime of the Punjab. Previously, cattle rustlers were carrying out their criminal activities while Police was also tracing out accused in old pattern.  Now the accused are well equipped with lethal weapons and other communication gadgets which help them to accomplish their goals.  In view of this aspect, police strategy has been reviewed and police is adamant to use effective old as well as new methods of tracing the accused like keeping a vigilant eye on habitual/previous record holders, arrangement of private informers, obtaining of mobile data in certain cases, arranging "Khoji" (foot-tracker). 

Besides, preventive measures are also being taken like establishment of Thekri-pehra" (volunteer village watchmen), proper record keeping at Cattlehead Market, creating awareness amongst owners to arrange proper building to minimize this danger.  Areas has also been categorized keeping in view cattlehead related crime ratio to work more effectively.

Cattle rustling is the act of stealing cattle which is quite ancient and is still a major problem in rural areas of District Mandi Bahauddin. It is important to try to keep your cattle safe from potential rustlers, particularly if you are located in an area where cattle rustling is known to occur or events such as drought or a natural disaster give rise to such an opportunistic crime. There are several ways to protect your cattle from being stolen, as outlined in the steps below.

How to Protect Cattle From Rustlers

Maintain good records of the cattle you own

Keep these records in a safe location; the best place to keep health, reproductive, purchase/ sale and identification records of your cattle is in your own house or even in a safe. Keep them in a file where only you know where they are, and be sure to keep both hard copies (paper files) and software copies (records on your computer) in case one set is lost.

Keeping record of your cattle is a good thing to do, even if you're not at risk of having cattle stolen off you. But, in case you have to go to court against these rustlers, these records will serve as proof that those animals are rightfully yours and not mere strays.



Make sure all of your cattle have their tags and/or have been branded with the brand of your farm or ranch

Cattle without tags tend to be bigger targets for theft than those who have tags or buttons. Cattle that are not branded are also fair game; however, even branded cattle are still liable to be stolen, especially if the rustler has mastered the skill of switching brands just like rustlers were able to do back in the days of the Old West. By comparison though, in today's world, time is money and a rustler would rather not fool around trying to switch brands. Instead he'd rather get in, get the cattle, get out and sell them as soon as possible. Therefore, brands on the cattle are a form of deterrent.




Do a regular physical count of your animals

As many times as you need to come out to check them, make sure you do a headcount to ensure that they are all there. This not only ensures that none been stolen, it also makes sure that none of your animals have found or made a hole in the fence and decided to make an escape or there is a sick or lame animal still out in the grazing grounds.
A headcount is also a good way to tell if you have an extra visitor or two in your herd that came from another farm. By returning such animals to neighbors, you build up a trustworthy rapport that will be returned in kind if needed.




Ensure the proper location of your handling facilities or loading areas meet farm bio-security measures


Your facilities should either be located close to your residence to make it difficult to steal without disturbing you, or far enough into your land that it takes, in the thieves' minds, too much time to travel to and fro. Permanent facilities that are located far away from the road or are quite literally hidden from view of the road tend to discourage most thieves than facilities evident near the road. This is simply because thieves need to be quick about their business, and having to drive a long way into your land can put a bit of a nervous edge on them. Facilities which are hidden might actually be inviting to the thieves, since they can load the cattle without being seen from the road. But it's a different story if there's only one lane going to and from your handling and loading areas.


Keep your possessions in a secure area


You should make sure most of your vehicles, trailers, machinery and equipment are locked up in a secure building. Keep the keys with you in your house, and keep a set with someone you trust to keep them safe for you, especially if you have to be away from the farm for several days.

This is important to know because sometimes the thieves may be interested in more than just your cattle.




Keep an eye for any suspicious activity

This may be a lot harder to do if you live away from your farm; however, if you have neighbors that know you and are willing to watch over your farm for you, use this as an advantage to help keep an eye out for potential illegal activity.





Let neighbors, family and friends you know you can trust to watch your farm for you have to be absent for longer than a day or two

This will keep your peace of mind and acknowledge the fact that you won't have anything to worry about except if your cows decide to make trouble for you while you're away.





Keep the Mandi Bahauddin Police informed if you see certain suspicious activity

This is of particular importance if you notice activity within a couple days, especially during the night or even during the day. Sometimes they will dispatch a police officer to take a drive down to that particular area of concern to see what's going on or to even give warning to potential thieves that the police haven't forgotten about that particular corner of the country.





Respond quickly if your cattle have been stolen


If you have found that your cattle have indeed been stolen, please talk to the authorities immediately. The sooner that the trail can be followed, the better. Contact your insurer as well, to see what is expected of you by way of follow-up––if you do need to seek compensation, you'll want to make sure you have done everything to assure this.